Total War: Rome II expanding again with Empire Divided

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A brand new expansion is coming to Total War: Rome II, developers Creative Assembly announced today, four years since the game came out and three since its last expansion. Empire Divided will travel back to the third century for a new grand-scale campaign as the Roman Empire risks collapsing. It’ll feature ten playable factions, from good ol’ Rome through the goths to Armenia, and bring new problems such as plagues, excess bandits, and cults.

The paid expansion is due later this month and will be accompanied by a free update overhauling expanding Rome II’s political system.

Empire Divided will star the Rome, Gallic Rome, Palmyra, Sassanids, Gothi, Saxones, Marcomanni, Armenia, Alani, and Caledones. The first five of those are ‘heroic’ factions, boasting fancy extras like unique victory conditions, units, and event chains, while others are just there to Totally War.

Banditry is overhauled with the expansion, with different levels of trouble in different provinces, requiring careful attention lest they raid your food too much. Plagues will be rolling around too, harming territories and traveling with armies and trade routes. And the cults of Christianity, Mithraism, and Manichaeism will helpfully construct free cult buildings as you allow followers to settle in your empire, bringing helpful bonuses, but cults will also spread their own foreign culture and disorder.

Empire Divided is coming to Steam on November 30th. Check this FAQ for more information.

Launching alongside Empire Divided is the Power & Politics update, which will apply to regular Rome II (and most its DLC) as well as this new expansion. Creative Assembly say it “completely overhauls the politics system and adds a variety of new political actions for your campaign to give a far greater meaning to how you deal with other politics parties and government types.” Completing missions and winning battles will help bolster your political position too.

While the full update is due on the 30th, Power & Politics does hit public beta testing for people who fancy a peek now. To get in, right-click on Rome II in your Steam library, select Properties, go to the Betas tab, and select “power_and_politics” from the drop-down menu. The patch notes are in that FAQ too.

19 Comments

  1. Janichsan says:

    On that occasion, CA drops support for the Mac version of the game, as it seems.

    Ah, well, it was a shitty port anyway. Not much of a loss.

  2. HigoChumbo says:

    Seeing how similar Rome 2 and Attila are, I wonder if would follow the Warhammer path and integrate all Rome 2 and Attila games/expansions into a single campaign like in “Mortal Empires” to get a massive campaign that went all the way from the Punic Wars to Charlemagne.

  3. Zenicetus says:

    What I remember of Rome 2’s politics was a copy-paste of Roman politics for every other faction, which was annoying. It only felt right when playing Rome. So if they’re revamping the political system, I hope it includes options for things like hereditary monarchies (Sassanids, etc).

  4. Eightball says:

    How many years per turn (or turns per year)?

  5. Jovian09 says:

    While this is exciting, and Rome has always been my favourite setting for a Total War game, I have to wonder just how much an expansion for a four-year-old title is going to cost.

    On the other hand, Rome II is a poster child for how worthwhile it can be to revisit games that had rough launches. Battlefield 4 would be another one.

    • Imperialist says:

      its $15 USD on the steam store atm.
      Looks promising, but i cant help but feel that we are retreading familiar territory. Weve seen Rome at its rise, its pinnacle, and at its dreary end…putting it slightly at the onset of the decline is a strange choice. Attila really nailed the difficulty and atmosphere of a declining Rome, nearly incapable of defending against the myriad threats at its borders, while civil and religious organizations erode it from within. Doing that again seems odd.

      • TheOx129 says:

        I think this will play out distinctly enough from Attila to merit a purchase. Unlike Attila, the empire isn’t doomed so much as it’s in profound crisis, and the focus on warring Roman factions will likely result in a significantly different tactical experience when compared to the barbarian doomstacks of Attila.

        In any event, I’m just happy to see more exploration of the late Roman Empire, as it tends to get ignored. While I get the appeal from a game design perspective, I’m tired of the “Rise of Rome” era.

  6. BaronKreight says:

    Making a DLC for a 4 year old game and selling it for a price of a new indie game. I don’t use mods for TW games but I think modders do a great job of the same kind and for free.

    • KhanSolo says:

      Except that literally mods cannot add the same content that Creative Assembly can, every toolkit has it limitations and Romes has a few. The political system for example cannot changed drastically from mods, nor can the campaign map. So while we all love mods. Mods will never be able to fill the void like an Expansion can. At least with the current limitations in the tool kit.

    • TheOx129 says:

      As far as I’m aware, there are only three playable Rome 2 mods that shift the time period: Eras of Rome – Res Publica (turns the clock back to 509 BC and mostly focuses on the Italian peninsula), Constantine: Rise of Christianity (set during the Wars of the Tetrarchy), and the Macedonian Wars mini-campaign included in Divide et Impera (if you have the Wrath of Sparta DLC, which it replaces).

      Obviously, everyone values things differently, but if you’re at all interested in the late Empire (like I am), this definitely seems to be worth a purchase and covers an oft-neglected period in media portrayals of Roman history.

      Also, while Total War has a vibrant modding community that’s made some truly impressive stuff over the years, there is something to be said for the level of polish and balance one sees in official content. Even mods I otherwise really enjoy can be weighed down by clunky or poor design decisions, like unnecessary additional complexity and slowing battles down to a painfully slow pace – in my experience, often in the pursuit of a misguided ideal of “realism.”

  7. poohbear says:

    Why so late after its release? lol i have totally forgotten about this game after 4 years. is there a Rome 3 being announced soon and they wanna revitalize our interest in this series?

    • Werthead says:

      No. Apparently some of the Total War historical hardcore have spent about two years in the belief that the Warhammer games (and this subsequent enormous sales success) mean that CA is only going to make fantasy games from now on and won’t return to their historical roots, despite CA saying repeatedly they can do both.

      This expansion and Total War Sagas next year (the Viking game) are ways for them to confirm they are working on historical games before the next proper full-scale historical title is released, maybe in 2019 or 2020.

  8. Preciousgollum says:

    Total War – Rome 2 : Not Quite The Barbarian Invasion…

    Considering that CA were talking about revisiting a past game (and that Shogun 2 is ‘done), I had a feeling they might go back to Rome 2, especially since they probably thought it could be filled with expansions ala Crusader Kings 2…

    … This IS NOT the same as the so-called ‘Total War Saga’ that they have been talking about. Essentially, ‘Saga’ already exists with the standalone expansions like Napoleon & Atilla, so it is mostly a rebranding exercise to make you go ‘Mmmm… Napoleon Saga’… and then perhaps a new standalone will emerge soon(ish).

    The problem I’m having with Total War games is that there is very little justification to keep upgrading or buying a new PC to get the damn things to run well, especially when most of them aren’t doing anything amazing outside of perhaps the visuals; It is the same game since Rome 1 (except with infamous new problems, and more UI + unit powerup buttons).

    I suppose I’d be interested to see any full-blown shake-up of the basic formula. I also think that a full-blown sequel to Rome or Medieval should only be done again when there is something totally new to the formula, and when they can nail it. Otherwise, CA started to drift into middle-tier developer.

  9. Preciousgollum says:

    I do NOT want to see any mention of Medieval III anytime soon. I think CA & SEGA would be too tempted to follow a Crusader Kings 2 type business model.

    • Gothnak says:

      You mean release a massive game that i have played for hundreds of hours for full price and then bringing opt in add ins for many years later to improve it if you want to but the vanilla game is still amazing value for money?

      Sounds awful.

      • Preciousgollum says:

        The PARADOX publisher model…

        The other model is to leave in conveniently placed sockets that need filling with DLC… which is why Rome 2’s apparently not very good politics system is suddenly being fixed after 4 years, in order to co-incide with the DLC…

        Has Doctor Robotnik’s/Thanos’ pursuit of the Chaos Emeralds/Infinity Stones taught us nothing?

        The infinity gauntlet is useless without the stones…

    • Werthead says:

      I think the medieval period is the natural home and best fit for the Total War concept, so I think they will revisit it, maybe as the historical title after the next one (which would make it almost 20 years since the last one). I think they’ve been reluctant to so far because the improvements between the Rome I/Medieval II engine and Warscape were originally somewhat modest, but now the differences would be more significant and would make it worthwhile.

  10. Preciousgollum says:

    This Rome 2 DLC immediately became one of the top ten selling products on steam, and the public had no advance knowledge of what it was about before announcement & yet it got instant gains…

    … hmmm reminds me of the Trump administration.

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